Midland College congratulates its first Primary Care Pathways Program graduate on completion of medical degree

Midland College congratulates its first Primary Care Pathways Program graduate on completion of medical degreeJune 05, 2023

The image to use for this article. Listing image managed through RSS tab. Clarence Sparks in Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine graduation regalia.

“Sometimes I think this is just too good to be true!” Clarence Sparks, D.O., said. “I started Midland College’s Primary Care Pathway Program in the fall of 2016, and just seven years later, I’m finished with medical school.”

Sparks, who was in the first student cohort of Midland College’s Primary Care Pathways Program (PCPP), graduated from TCOM on May 23 and will now be assuming a residency in internal medicine-primary care at Loma Linda University Medical Center in Loma Linda, CA.  

“Clarence not only has a real aptitude for success in the medical field, but also is altruistic,” Joseph Schenkman, Midland College associate professor of Biology and PCPP program coordinator, said.  “I can’t wait to see what great successes are in store for him as he progresses through his residency and career as a physician.”

Sparks said that he really enjoys osteopathic medicine because of its wholistic approach to medicine.  As part of his education at TCOM, Sparks received special training in the musculoskeletal system, which provided additional knowledge of how the body’s systems are interconnected and how each one affects the others.

“Of course, osteopathic physicians are also trained in other aspects of medicine, and are specialists in such things as surgery, cardiology, pediatrics, etc.,” Sparks explained.  “Osteopathic medicine focuses on the patient as a whole—not just treating symptoms.”

The Midland College PCPP program consists of an enhanced three-year premed curriculum with two years at MC and one year at the University of North Texas (UNT), healthcare enrichment activities that include mentoring and physician shadowing, a summer enrichment experience and four years of medical school at TCOM in Ft. Worth.

Sparks said that he would advise students interested in becoming physicians to look into the PCPP program at Midland College, especially if they are first-generation college students, like he is.

“The professors and staff at MC helped me navigate the system and gave me direction,” Sparks said.  “Midland College really prepared me for medical school.  The classes are small, and the professors are personable.  I was able to take advantage of scholarships at Midland College, and there was also a stipend available when I transferred to UNT.  In addition, TCOM is very affordable, compared to other medical schools.”

MC Office of Institutional Advancement

Pevehouse Administration Building, Room 141
Midland College, 3600 N. Garfield
Midland, Texas 79705
(432) 685-4556


Midland College has many programs and options for our students. If you are investigating the opportunities we offer, our Welcome Center is the perfect place to receive general information.